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My good friend now wants to be my lover

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Dear Pastor,

Thank you for all the great advice you usually give weekly; keep up the good work. I seek your advice before I make a decision that I face.
I recently met this guy and we have become good friends. {{more}}There is nothing intimate between us though we have been talking for close to a year now. About a month ago, he told me he wanted us to be more than just friends and wanted to start a relationship.
Pastor, he seems like a real nice guy and I have always felt comfortable with him, but since he told me about his desire to be with me I find myself not trusting him.
Things have changed in our friendship and everything he says now upsets me. I even find myself trying to avoid him. I know it may sound childish and stupid but something about him makes me uneasy.
What should I do?

Confused

Hello Confused,

What should you do? Let me see… DEAL WITH IT!
The young man, after a year of friendship has put a proposal on the table; he wants to be in a relationship with you. Change sometimes freaks us out and makes us see things that don’t exist or makes us behave irrationally, but you must get yourself together. Be honest with yourself first and foremost, and ask yourself how you feel about the young man. After you have done that, then you must ascertain whether or not you are ready for, or want to pursue, a relationship at this time in your life.
So what is the big question? Is he the type of person you would like to pursue a relationship with? Now this goes deeper than feelings, but speaks of examining his personality, character, ambition, background, the whole works. You may need to get counsel; not just by writing me, but especially people close to you (friends and parents). Get their opinion. For example, have they met him?
However long the process takes, deal with the questions, settle the answers in your mind, then speak to the young man and tell him your decision. If your decision is no – but you handle it maturely – you may still protect a friendship. However, the worst case scenario is that he might pull away from you if the relationship can’t go to that other level and it is hard for him to maintain his closeness to you. In the end, it is a waste of time and stress to think about these eventualities before you.
First, honestly answer the question and respond to the proposal. Your failure or reluctance to deal with it may very well be the cause of your anxiety with him, so the sooner you deal with it the better for you both. Remember that he has every right to put his cards on the table. You need to sort your hand out now; the “game” is on pause and your seeming paranoia could very well be the result of this pausing, if not entirely, at least in part.

Pastor Jackson

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